The institute
FEMTO's news

You are here

Lessons on textile history and fibre durability from a 4,000-year-old Egyptian flax yarn

Published in the journal Nature Plants, work involving FEMTO-ST scientists is helping to propose ever more efficient and resistant materials based on flax fibers.

Man has always used plant fibers, such as flax, for the manufacture of fabrics and clothing. Praised in ancient Egyptian times, linen is still used today by spinners and weavers who work to diversify its uses and aspects. Linen-based technical fabrics are also the object of growing interest for composite applications in the transport, nautical, sports and leisure sectors. They offer a more environmentally friendly alternative due to the renewable and recyclable nature of this plant material.

The question of durability and aging of these materials is at the heart of the most innovative research. The evaluation of the durability of materials generally requires the implementation of accelerated tests allowing to reproduce on short times the aging on the long term. The risk is then to induce degradation mechanisms that do not exist in real aging conditions.

For linen, its use dating back to the Neolithic period, it is possible to have access to ancient fabrics and thus to study the effects of a real and long term aging on the properties of these fibers. This is the idea of Dr. Alain Bourmaud at the IRDL (Institut de Recherche Dupuy de Lôme). In collaboration with scientists from the Louvre Museum, the LMGC, the SOLEIL synchrotron, INRAE Nantes, the University of Cambridge and the FEMTO-ST institute, the properties of fibers extracted from 4000 year old mortuary cloths found in Egyptian sarcophagi were characterized and compared to the properties of present day flax textile fibers. The results showed that these ancient fibers still have excellent mechanical properties, testifying to the good preservation conditions due to the hygrothermal environment prevailing in the tombs. The characterization work was carried out using state-of-the-art techniques such as atomic force microscopy and biphoton microscopy. The FEMTO-ST researchers involved have carried out X-ray nanotomographic analyses in order to obtain 3D images of the flax yarns and fibers constituting the mortuary fabric and to compare their over time. These areas of mechanical weakness also constitute privileged sites for water absorption. The acquired information is therefore important to better understand the aging and the long-term performance of modern flax fibers.

Contact : Vincent Placet

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-021-00998-8

See  the CNRS article

  • Entrepreneurs-PhD Award : Second place for Vladimir Gauthier at the national level

    Awarded for his « CellSelect project » he proposes a robot capable of improving the precision and speed of cell sorting in the field of innovative therapies.

    His work is the result of research carried out of Biomedical Microrobotics Team of FEMTO-ST Institute.

    Read more
  • Jean-Antoine Seon : awarded with the 2nd national PHD prize in robotics

    Jean Antoine was distinguished on November 22th at the CNRS headquarters for his pioneer international work on a micro robotic dextral hand.

    Read more
  • Elodie Pahon is the award winner of "Hydrogen Europe Research young Scientist" in the transport field

    This award recognizes her high-level works that aim developping prognosis and smart control approaches dedicated to fuel cell systems. 
    Read more
  • Emmanuel RAMASSO, recipient of a « Group Achievement Award » by NASA

    For outstanding contributions to the open data initiative by conducting and posting experimental system fault and run-to-failure data sets with exceptional scientific value.

    Read more
  • Chimeras exist...

    The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has featured our recent article in a special science highlight, known as a Scilight. Due to its novelty and close connection with ever-present phenomena, reported results are of wide interest to the general public.

    Read more
  • Entrepreneurs-PhD Award in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté: 3 laureates from FEMTO-ST institute

    Vladimir Gauthier (CellSelect project), Aliyasin El Ayouch (Metabsorber project), Romain Viala (MICAD project),   were rewarded during the regional final which took place on October 16 in Dijon

    Read more
  • « Micron d’or » Award at the international microtechnology trade fair

    For one of the most dexterous miniature robots with 7 degrees of freedom, allowing micromanipulation and microassembly in extremely confined spaces

    Read more
  • nanofis de polymères

    Polymer-based nanowires

    Molecules, salt and light :  an easy recipe to provide giant nanowires !

    Read more
  • Discussions about good practices around smart specialization

    In the frame of the 2014-2020 programming of the European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), the European Union has asked all the regions of Europe to draw up a "Smart Specialization Strategy" for research and innovation on their own territory: this is the S3.

    Read more
  • Optical Neural Networks start to learn...

    Work is actively in progress at FEMTO-ST in order to design the photonic architectures dedicated to our future processors that will be computing through artificial intelligence concepts.

    Read more

Pages